Convergence Partners is pleased to announce that the New Dawn Satellite has been rescheduled to Friday, April 22 at 17:37 p.m. (EDT) 23:37 p.m (SA time). The satellite, loaded on an Ariane 5 rocket, will be launched from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The countdown has begun for the launch of the New Dawn satellite tonight. Intelsat has confirmed that everything is so far on schedule for the satellite’s launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the Arianespace Launch Complex in Kourou, French Guiana, at about 23:45 South African time.
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between Intelsat and a consortium led by Convergence Partners.
Preparations on Track for March 30 Lift-Off of First African Private Sector Communications Satellite
Final preparations for the historic Intelsat New Dawn satellite launch are on track. On Wednesday, March 30, the satellite, loaded in an Ariane 5 rocket, is expected to be rolled from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. It will be readied for lift-off that day during a launch window that opens at 6:45 p.m. local time in French Guiana (11:45 p.m. in South Africa), and continues to 7:52 p.m. (12:52 a.m. in South Africa). The project has also received a symbolic ‘boost’ from the image of Nelson Mandela’s signature, which is featured on the rocket’s fairing.
The New Dawn project was created through a unique joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners, which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation. The project was funded though a combination of equity from Intelsat and the Convergence Partners Consortium, and debt funding via an innovative structure that has maximized African participation in the project. Debt providers comprise Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation and the African Development Bank.
The Arianespace technician is finalizing the seam between the fairing and the Ariane 5 launcher.
This interface is composed of 420 bolts which hold the fairing onto the launcher.
Once the launcher reaches an altitude where the air density will not damage the satellite, the fairing is separated longitudinally along the slice line.
This splice line has an explosive device that allows the fairing to “peel away” as the launcher approaches the frontier of space.
With only 28 days until launch, the Intelsat New Dawn Satellite was shipped overnight from Washington D.C. to Cayenne, French Guiana. The satellite recently left the Orbital Sciences Corporation manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, and was flown on an Antonov airplane, arriving early morning local time in Cayenne. It will then be transported to Kourou, where it will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 29 March 2011.
See the attached picture of the satellite being loaded for flight from the USA to French Guiana.